Time for one last trip

Racing crabs jousting knights and launching rockets a short distance away for Labor Day weekend

Racing crabs jousting knights and launching rockets a short distance away for Labor Day weekend

August 25, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

Sure, school has started.

But with the long Labor Day weekend fast approaching, there's still an opportunity for another summer family getaway.

Here are some suggestions for a day trip or weekend trip:

National Hard Crab Derby and Fair on Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore

Have you driven to Ocean City, Md. from the Tri-State area? Well, getting to the Somers Cove Marina grounds in Crisfield, Md., is a slightly longer ride, and you get to see crab races and taste a variety of crab dishes.

The fair starts Friday, Sept. 1, with a Crab Cooking Contest and has its own "Crisfield Idol" competition that night. Saturday's events include the Governor's Cup Crab Race, where blue crabs representing each state race to the bottom of the approximately 20-foot-long ramp.


That is followed by the 59th annual National Hard Crab Derby Race, for which people can pay $3 and supply a name for one of 350 blue crab racing contestants. Naming rights usually sell out in two hours, says Valerie Mason, director of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce.

Another popular activity is the boat docking contest on Sunday.

Other activities during the weekend include a street parade, a crab-picking contest, skiff races, an arm-wrestling contest, fireworks, a plastic bottle boat regatta and local bands performing country and soft rock.

Admission is $4, adults; $2, children 12 and younger. Friday is free. The $10 charge for the boat docking contest includes fair admission.

For more information, call the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce at 1-410-968-2500 or go to

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire's Children's Fantasy Weekend

The renaissance fair, which is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day through Oct. 29, is having a Children's Fantasy Weekend during the three-day holiday weekend. The fairgrounds are 15 miles north of Lancaster, Pa.

Activities include cake with the queen and a chance to participate in the Mad Mechanicals Royal Kazoo Orchestra so they can perform for the queen.

Children also are invited to parade with citizens of Mount Hope, the 16th-century hamlet, to the Ultimate Joust.

Other entertainment includes a stilt-walker, juggling lessons, knight games for youths and a knighting ceremony. Onstage entertainment that solicits children's participation includes musical, comedic and magic acts.

Admission is $26.95, adults; $9.95, ages 5 to 11; free, 4 and younger. A coupon for a free child's ticket with purchase of full-paying adult is at

For more information, call 717-665-7021 or go to

Maryland Renaissance Festival

Labor Day weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival includes a visit from The Jolly Jester each day. Magician Bob Sheets involves his audience in magic and comedy.

This year at the fair, King Henry VIII is enjoying his days as a bachelor king while his confidante searches for a bride for the king to secure a foreign alliance.

Other entertainment and activities include a knighting ceremony for the first 40 children registered twice a day, each day; an archery demonstration; a kids' singalong; fight school; elephant rides; a children's play area; and a climbing wall.

Stage shows include three children's theatrical shows.

The festival starts this weekend, which is children's weekend with ages 11 and younger admitted free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day, rain or shine, through Oct. 22. The fairgrounds are off Crownsville Road in Anne Arundel County, Md.

Admission is $17, ages 16 to 61; $15, 62 and older; $8, ages 7 to 15; free for ages 6 and younger. Ages 62 and older get in free on Labor Day. A two-day pass, good for any two days, costs $26.

For directions and other information, call 800-296-7304 or go to

Kennedy Center's Prelude Festival

John Williams' title theme from "Superman" and Elmer Bernstein's suite from "The Magnificent Seven" are among the compositions the National Symphony Orchestra will perform on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building for its annual free Labor Day Weekend concert.

The concert also will feature selections from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo" and Richard Rodgers' pieces such as "Some Enchanted Evening" from "South Pacific" and "People Will Say We're in Love" from "Oklahoma."

The performance is at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3. People may bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic dinners.

The concert is part of Prelude Festival, a preseason festival for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The center is hosting the Page-To-Stage New Play Festival from Saturday, Sept. 2, to Monday (Labor Day), Sept. 4. The free festival includes a performance of Richard Dresser's "The Pursuit of Happiness," which had a stage reading this summer at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va. That play will be from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4, in the Theater Lab.

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